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Forest Hills Resident, Nurse Educator Garners Cameo of Caring Award

In recognition of her extensive clinical knowledge and work as an accomplished educator, Leah Vota Cunningham has earned a 2013 Cameos of Caring Award in the Nurse Educator category.

An assistant professor and assistant dean for student services at the Duquesne University School of Nursing, Cunningham was presented with her award at the Cameos of Caring Program and Awards Gala on Nov. 2.

The Cameos of Caring awards, which are presented by the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, are designed to spotlight nursing role models and to impact nursing retention as well as recruit talented and committed members of the profession.

Cunningham, a member of the nursing faculty at Duquesne for 26 years, has played a critical role in creating rigorous and transformational undergraduate and graduate student experiences at the University. Among her many accomplishments, she was instrumental in creating a freshman seminar that ensures early nursing student successes, and her colleagues and former students attest to her willingness to offer assistance and mentoring.

For more than two decades, Cunningham and other Duquesne nursing faculty have worked with a leading Nicaraguan nursing school on projects that have had an enduring impact on health care in that nation. Cunningham also helped to envision and implement a fundamental curriculum redesign and to develop a program that delivers basic health care services-including an education and screening program for cervical and breast cancer-to at-risk women in a Managua barrio.

Cunningham also has helped the School of Nursing earn grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for 10 consecutive years through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program. The funds support graduate students who plan to be or currently are and intend to continue to be nurse educators. The nursing school's most recent $457,745 grant was the highest awarded to any nursing school in Pennsylvania and the 11th highest in the United States.

Cunningham resides in Forest Hills.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.